I sat by his side while he slept and played this never expecting it would do more than satisfy my own selfish need to fight.
It was just the two of us there, my father and I, alone in his hospital room.
Not the first time we have done this nor do I expect it to be the last, but definitely different than before.
The first time I remember doing so was a little more than 14 years ago, both of us much younger than we are now and both of us different.
A machine kept him alive then. Beeps and whistles and his breathing kept me company.
A doctor friend told me to ignore the noises the machines made, “you won’t know what they mean and if you pay too attention they may upset you. Ignore them and ask me or someone else to give you a summary in terms that make sense.”
Sometimes You Take The Unvacation
I have been back in LA for five days now and am almost at the point where I need to pack my stuff and prepare to return to Texas.
It is stranger than ever being here and realizing I don’t a place I call home here anymore.
Sure, you could drop me anywhere here and tell me I had to start over and I could do it. I know where I would want to set up shop again, got family and friends around and favorite places to visit.
But it is not home now, it is just where I flew to for an unvacation.
In part it is because a remote office means you can work from anywhere and in part because the focus is on trying to spend time with dad.
It makes it hard to relax and just enjoy it all. Takes more effort and work to set aside all the responsibilities and just be.
Hard, but not impossible.
There have been some very good moments and experiences here as well as some challenging ones.
I watched The Kingsman Golden Circle a few nights back.
It wasn’t particularly good nor particularly bad but I was happy I didn’t pay to see it in the theater. It did enough to distract me and made me smile a few times.
Merlin singing Country Roads was one of those. Partly because a certain teenage son of mine used to sing it when he was about five.
One of his good friends had a summer house in Virginia and told that teenage boy there was a song about it. He asked me to play it and for a while any time we got in the car the kid would sing along with John Denver.
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
One of these days I need to take a real vacation where I can truly shut it all down and recharge. One of these days, that place where I belong may be it, wherever that is.
Dancing With Picasso
I went dancing online with Picasso.
Don’t ask me what made me do it or why, just accept that sometimes things happen for reasons that are inexplicable and you go with your gut.
That has happened to me more than once and the most recent time I heard the bells go off inside my head and tried to ignore them.
Figured it was safer, easier and more practical but it was none of those things.
So I said fuck it, shrugged my shoulders and muttered “bring it on.”
Somewhere during that dance with Pablo I stumbled across some of his quotes and smiled.
“I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.”
“You have to know how to be vulgar. Paint with four-letter words.”
“An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought”
“The world doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”
Think Less, Do More
When I joined my current gym I did so because I wanted to do what I could to make cancer fear me and because it is a great way to blow off steam.
I made an arbitrary decision that by the end of the year I wanted to be able to bench press 225. The goal was do three sets of 10-15 reps.
When I started I wasn’t close to being able to put that kind of weight up. It irritated me because there was a time when it was easy, but I figured I would just work my way back.
That is what I started doing and then came a day when I was feeling extra grouchy and I figured that I ought to be able to do at least one rep at 225.
I didn’t think about it, I just put two plates on each side of the bar and did it.
Within a month I did the same with 275 and started to play around with a new idea, 350 for 50.
Got most of a year before I hit that big 50 so there is time to make it happen.
If you ask me if there is any significance to any of this I’ll smile and say no.
Cancer isn’t going to truly fear me, it is not something that thinks. Benching 350 isn’t all that exciting or meaningful either.
It just means I can throw some iron around and it doesn’t necessarily mean I am in peak health.
There is more value in being able to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps at 225.
The point here isn’t to get caught in the weeds of the details. Rather it is to recognize that sometimes the things that trip us up and keep us from moving forward are those pesky thoughts that demand we think every last detail through.
There is a time and a place for thought as well as action.
A time for asking others to submit and a time for submitting.
Sometimes you just want to be a simple man.